Tips for Choosing Your Rental

The rental market has become more competitive than ever with former homeowners joining long-term renters in the search for a new rental home or apartment. But in the rush to find a place to call home, there are a few things you still need to consider before signing the lease:

Know what you want

Know your requirements for a rental. Is location the most important criteria? Or, perhaps there is a certain amenity you want, such as covered parking, a gym or having your own washer/dryer in the unit. But at the same time, be realistic so your list of must-haves won’t limit you. If your requirements aren’t offered at a particular property, then move on. Don’t expect a landlord to add an unreasonable amount of amenities or upgrades to an existing rental. There are often other rental properties available that will meet your needs.

Communicate with the landlord

You don’t need to be best friends with your future landlord, but you’ll need to be able to have a working relationship with the person. When you’re applying for the rental, ask about their “set of rules” for renters to help gauge expectations. Also ask other questions you may have, such as whether there is an on-site maintenance person to handle repairs quickly or how monthly rental payments are made.

Check the Rent Zestimate

While it’s well-known that New York City rentals are on the high end — how about a New York City apartment with 400 square feet of living space for $2,250 a month — you may not know off the top of your head what good rentals go for in your area. Compare and contrast rental listings, and check out the Rent Zestimate to get an idea of whether the walk-up you have your eye on is worth the price.

Beware of scams

While we’d like to think everyone is honest and respectful of each other, unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Scams are a reality of the Internet. Always be wary of giving personal information, financial information or payments to anyone you don’t know personally. Unsure of whether the rental listing is legitimate? Check out our primer on scams here.